Among the names written in the Claims Register compiled by pioneer Solon Robinson of Crown Point, are Charles Marvin and Mercy Perry, widow. Both were listed during the year 1836.
Charles Marvin has been mentioned many times in the history books, and in this column early in 1980. Pioneer Marvin was born Aug. 4, 1811*, in Norwich*, Conn. As a young man, he traveled to South Carolina, down to New Orleans, came north to Alton, Ill., and then to Lockport, Ill., where in 1835 he married Charlotte Perry.
In 1836, Marvin and Charlotte made claims in Indiana, along with Charlotte's mother, Mercy Perry. The claims were included in Lake County when that county was organized.
After three years, in 1839, Marvin sold his Hanover area farm to Henry Sasse, Sr. Sometime after that his wife Charlotte died, and in 1851 he was married to Eliza Fuller, daughter of Hiram S. Fuller (1801-1878), West Creek pioneer.
In 1881 he sold his second large and valuable farm, and then bought what was once the Judge Wilkinson place, where he built a stately residence. He died there in 1892, nearly 81 years of age. He was noted among the Lake County pioneers as a man of manners, a noble example of true manhood. He was buried at Lockport, Ill., where he had some relatives.
Some of the Marvin's neighbors in that early West Creek Settlement near Hanover are listed in Rev. Ball's 1873 History as follows: Rankin, Hitchcock, Gordinier, Burns, Farwell, Willey and Fuller. This group of settlers remained quite isolated until the building of the Hanover bridge.
Solomon Burns, Harry Burns, a Mr. Hazelton, and George Willey all came to their West Creek claims in 1838, arriving with four covered wagons drawn by horses. They purchased a claim from James Farwell, part of which was paid for with a team of valuable young horses. Not long afterward these two horses were struck by lightning and killed.
Eliza Fuller was a member of that group of hardy settlers near Hanover, and according to historian Ball, "was a foremost representative of the remarkable pioneer women of Lake County. All history shows how conspicuous a part the wives and daughters have played in the national development, and the material, social and intellectual welfare of the country."
Fuller was born in Wayne County, Mich., in 1827, the eldest of seven children (four sons and three daughters) born to Hiram and Mary Fuller. [Note: An Old Settlers Association document at the Lowell Public Library, LH--Vital Statistics, vol. 1, page 99, says she was born Aug. 13, 1828.] Hiram, her father, was born in the Green Mountain State of Vermont in 1801, and died in 1878. He traveled with his parents to Whitehall, New York, and from there he came west to settle in Northville, Mich. In those early days he drove an ox team to Detroit for provisions.
In 1847, Hiram sold his land in Michigan and came to Lake County, settling on a previous purchase of four hundred acres of wild land in West Creek Township. Eliza told the Rev. Ball that she could remember seeing as many as ninety deer at one time near their homestead. Her mother, Mary Fuller, was born in the Genesse Valley of New York state in 1808.
Eliza studied in the schools and at an academy in Michigan and came to Lake County with her parents when she was 21. She taught school in Michigan and also in Indiana, and then in 1851 married Charles Marvin. Marvin was a thrifty financial manager, and being a very successful stock raiser and farmer, owned about six hundred acres of land in the West Creek area when they were married.
When Charles died in 1892, Eliza Marvin was left to assume a large business responsibility in the management of the estate left to her. She was a genial and cordial lady, with many friends. Her bright mind delighted to wander among the scenes of the early days, and on the pages of her memory were many events of the early 1800's.
She saw the city of Chicago when teams were stalled in the mud and mire of Lake St., and she also knew the city with its population of nearly two million. She was a charitable and generous woman, always ready to respond to worthy causes.
Charles and Eliza Marvin had no children of their own, but in the goodness of their hearts had adopted a boy, Edward Prosser, and a girl, Ellen Rollins. Edward died when he was a young man. Ellen became the wife of Phillip Stuppy, a farmer of West Creek who had settled in 1868.
Eliza Marvin retained the active management of the estate of three hundred acres, part of which was located in Illinois, until the last. She spent her final years in her beautiful West Creek home built by her husband in 1881.
* NOTE -- Although this article place Charles Marvin's place of birth as Norwich, CT, and his birth date as Aug. 4, 1811, his newspaper obituary lists his birthdate and place as Aug. 8, 1811, at Norwalk, CT.
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